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“Sri Lankan apparel must target opportunities arising from post-COVID rebalancing of global trade”



From left to right: Assistant Treasurer - Menuka Gunawardena, Vice President - Nishantha Bakmeege, President - Bandula Fernando, General Secretary - Hemantha Perera, Treasurer - Rantha Tissera, Assistant General Secretary - Rumesh Perer

* Rainbow Clothing MD Bandula Fernando re-elected President of SLCGE

* Calls for greater adaption to align with increasingly popular e-commerce models

* Requests authorities to help facilitate land acquisition for expansion of factory capacity

Small and medium scale apparel producers have called on the authorities to assist the sector in expanding Sri Lanka’s apparel production capacity, to capitalise on the opportunities stemming from the on-going post-COVID rebalancing of global trade.

These views were expressed at the recently held 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters (SLCGE), which represents the country’s small and medium scale apparel producers.

Rainbow Clothing Managing Director, Bandula Fernando, was re-elected the President of the chamber for 2022/23 during the event, held at Hilton Colombo Residencies. Minister of Trade – Dr. Bandula Gunawardena was the chief guest while Minister of Industries – Wimal Weerawansa, State Minister of Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel Products – Dayasiri Jayasekara, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Chairman – A. Sukumaran and Commercial Bank Chief Operating Officer – Sanath Manatunge were also present.

“The global market for apparel has changed significantly as a result of the ongoing pandemic,” SLCGE President, Bandula Fernando said, speaking at the event. “We have to adapt our strategies accordingly, particularly in response to the e-commerce boom. We have initiated programmes to address these changes, in partnership with other stakeholders including state authorities and donors.”

It was also pointed out at the AGM that while the US-China trade war is creating more opportunities for Sri Lankan apparel producers, manufacturers require state assistance to capitalise on these.

“We are working in partnership with the authorities with regard to the allocation of land for the expansion of the factories of our members, which is vital to increase their production,” SLCGE General Secretary, Hemantha Perera said. “However, the ad-hoc introduction and amendment of various labour regulations, without discussions with employers, are a cause for concern and deter business confidence.”

The introduction of a mandatory retirement age and amendments to the Termination of the Employment of Workmen Act were pointed out as examples in this regard.

Small and medium scale apparel producers also drew attention to unfair criticism of the apparel sector by certain parties with regard to the spread of COVID-19 within manufacturing facilities, noting that employers had put in place all mandated preventative measures. The chamber also extended its gratitude to the armed forces, Government and other public-sector organisations, as well as the apex body of the country’s apparel industry, JAAF, for their invaluable assistance in various forms, following the outbreak of the pandemic.

The SLCGE’s new office bearers who were elected for the 2022/23 year were; President – Bandula Fernando, General Secretary – Hemantha Perera, Treasurer – Rantha Tissera, Vice President – Nishantha Bakmeege, Assistant General Secretary – Rumesh Perera and Assistant Treasurer – Menuka Gunawardena.

The Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters was formed in 1992 with the vision of developing a vibrant SME sector involved in the manufacture of apparel, which contributes significantly to the country’s economy. The chamber represents small and medium apparel factories as a member organization of JAAF.

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Opposition law makers’ critical comments check CSE’s morning momentum



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

The stock market yesterday kicked- off on a positive note during the first session but the momentum did not sustain due to opposition law makers’ negative remarks on the current negotiation process with external creditors, market analysts said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe had discussed debt restructuring and economic reforms with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, a President’s media division statement said.

“In their discussion, they focused on the ongoing reforms in the financial sector and the significant advancements in debt restructuring efforts, the statement said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 71.76 points while the S and P SL20 declined by 14 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.19 billion with four crossings.

Those crossings were reported in Windforce, which crossed 11 million shares to the tune of Rs 209 million; its shares traded at Rs 90, RIL Properties 20 million shares crossed for Rs 130 million and its shares traded at Rs 6.50, Hayleys Fabrics 500,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 23.1 million and its shares fetched Rs 46.20 and Laugfs 630,000 shares crossed for Rs 22 million; its shares traded at Rs 35.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 180 million (970,000 shares traded), CIC Holdings Rs 51.5 million (686,000 shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 47.6 million (415,000 shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 37.4 million (491,000 shares traded), HNB Rs 35.6 million (210,000 shares traded), Aitken Spence Hotels Rs 32.8 million (411,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Capital Rs 23.3 million (1.9 million shares traded). During the day 61.4 million share value changed hands in 9000 transactions.

Yesterday, the rupee opened at Rs 325/15 to the US dollar after closing the previous day at Rs 324.75/325.00 to the US dollar, dealers said.

Bond yields were up. A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 was quoted up at 14.80/15.20 percent from 14.50/70.A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 was quoted up at 14.60/15.20 percent from 14.35/50 percent. A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 was quoted up at 14.10/50 from 13.70/14.00 percent.

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Robocash Sri Lanka’s ESG commitment shines on International Coastal Cleanup Day at Dehiwala Beach



Robocash Team at Dehiwala Beach - Robocash EcoSplash: Beach Cleanup and Beyond

Robocash Sri Lanka marked International Coastal Cleanup Day by furthering its “Robocash EcoSplash: Beach Cleanup and Beyond” initiative, which took place on September 17th, at Dehiwala Beach, Sri Lanka.

This environmentally-conscious initiative was a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability, community engagement, and responsible corporate citizenship, all of which are in alignment with the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) principles.

ESG gained significant prominence in recent years as a guiding framework for responsible investment. It takes into account a company’s environmental impact, social responsibility, and governance practices, aligning them with the broader goals of sustainability and societal well-being. Robocash Sri Lanka recognizes the critical importance of ESG values in today’s world and is dedicated to integrating them into its operations and initiatives.

The “Robocash EcoSplash: Beach Cleanup and Beyond” program was a collaborative effort with the company’s internal team, showcasing the dedication of Robocash Sri Lanka’s employees to make a positive impact on their local environment and community.

Konstantin Bereutsyn, Country Manager of Robocash Sri Lanka, addressed the team at the event, saying, “Our commitment to environmental sustainability and community engagement goes beyond business as usual. We believe that being a responsible corporate citizen involves actively participating in initiatives that benefit society and the environment. This beach cleanup event is just one of the many ways we intend to contribute to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for Sri Lanka.”

The program ensured that all necessary permits and permissions for the beach-cleaning activity were obtained, and strict adherence to government health guidelines was maintained throughout the event to prioritize the safety and well-being of all participants.

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Ceylinco Life opens up the world once again for policyholders with ‘Family Savari 17’



Screen visuals from the virtual launch of Ceylinco Life’s ‘Family Savari 17’ promotion.

The world is opening up once again for Ceylinco Life policyholders with the return of overseas holidays for the family as the main loyalty reward under the life insurance market leader’s ‘Family Savari’ mega promotion, the largest initiative of its kind in the local life insurance sector.

The 17th edition of Family Savari announced this week will provide overseas holidays for 15 policyholder families in 2024 – to Türkiye for five families and to Malaysia for another 10 families – reverting to the original theme of the promotion.

Another 250 policyholder families comprising of 1,000 people will get to spend a fun-filled day at the Pearl Bay Water Park at Bandaragama, a new location for the local segment of the Family Savari.

“The Family Savari promotion has always been about the importance of quality family time and creating memories of a lifetime for our policyholders and their loved ones,” Ceylinco Life’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer Mr Samitha Hemachandra said. “Unfortunately, the pandemic made overseas travel inadvisable, but we are now delighted to be able to reward our loyal policyholders and their families with holidays to some of the world’s most popular destinations.”

With the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Ceylinco Life’s Family Savari opted to reward winners initially with gold instead of the overseas holidays and local excursions, and subsequently with cash rewards to the full value of the prize purse, and thereafter with family vacations in leading local hotels as health concerns began to ease.

At this year’s Family Savari promotion, a total of 265 policyholders will be selected at two draws that will take place in November 2023 and January 2024 to reward them and their family members, numbering 1,060 people in all, for their loyalty to Ceylinco Life. The mega promotion has to date rewarded more than 35,000 people in this manner.

To be eligible to win overseas holidays or the local excursion at the Family Savari draws, Ceylinco Life policyholders are simply required to continue their existing policies with the Company or maintain a minimum account balance in their retirement plans during the promotion period, 1st September to 31st December 2023.

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